Tolwyn's plan for Blair

YCDTD

Commodore
Why did Tolwyn draft Blair out of retirement for the Border Worlds Crisis and put him in a position where he could potentially undermine his planned coup? This seems to be a tremendous blunder. Did Tolwyn actually think Blair would join him? Was he hoping he would be killed and could be used as a a martyr?

Discuss.
 

Triple-B

Rear Admiral
I think Tolwyn indeed hoped, that blair would not look through his conspiracy and acutally be his tool
 

YCDTD

Commodore
I think Tolwyn indeed hoped, that blair would not look through his conspiracy and acutally be his tool
But why bother recruiting someone as skilled, and as much as a shit-disturber, as Blair? This is not the Kilrathi war - the Border Worlds has no chance against Confed. Zero.
 

Triple-B

Rear Admiral
I think Tolwyn appealed to blair's blind allegiance to confed ( this means tolwyn himself, who in fact represented confed after the war more or less). he needed him to do the "job" and also would use him as the "symbol of the confederation" who awes the border worlds and protects the confed civies from the evil border worlders.

later seether assumed that role.

another possibility is the quite opposite: sacrifice blair against the border worlds and/or black lance, so nobody would disturb him in his plans.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
There's a bit in the novel where Seether thinks about why they had expected Eisen to sign on:

"The Lexington's former commander should have been easy to recruit. His personality was a perfect match with PsyOps' profile. He was a decorated combat veteran with a reputation for doing what was needed, no matter how grim. The process of coaxing him into the project should have been, in Seether's opinion, a straightforward affair—just show him the imperative and leave him alone to draw his own conclusions. Seether wasn't the only one who had thought Eisen would be a sure thing. The old man had been so certain he would join "The Project" that he'd arranged for Eisen to take command of the Lexington before securing his allegiance."

... and I think you can imagine the same thought process applying to Blair.

And again, *we* think of Blair as being Captain America... but the fact is he was willing to single-handedly kill billions of Kilrathi civilians in the last war. So from the in-universe perspective, he might be willing to go further to do what Tolwyn thought was saving humanity. And that's a key piece too, really: from Tolwyn's perspective he's not doing something terrible or wrong... he sees himself as being entirely right.

As for why Tolwyn would take the risk in the first place, I think the idea is that he sees the benefit of having these famous war heroes (the sort he wishes he was) on his side while making the argument for war. Maybe even especially in Blair's case, where they famously don't agree on things personally... so the ability to stand up and say "the man who ended the last war thinks the same way I do" is huge for him.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
@LOAF Well then, I can only conclude that Seether and Tolwyn were crazy. I can't imagine that any sane person would think that Eisen or Blair would support turning Confed into the Fourth Reich. I wonder if Tolwyn explained the entire plan to Petranova and Hartnett. Maybe he just sold it as a military coup and left out the eugenics program.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
As for why Tolwyn would take the risk in the first place, I think the idea is that he sees the benefit of having these famous war heroes (the sort he wishes he was) on his side while making the argument for war.

Maybe its being so far "outside", from the viewer's POV - but didn't Tolwyn become a war hero because of the Battle Of Terra? Of course, Kruger's appearance was a major part in that and Tolwyn's mythic sheen was tarnished by the destruction of the Behemoth, but he was thought well enough to be made head of the SRA (admittedly, seemingly a political platform, but that should still denote stature) and eventually Space Marshall. (Also, that one person in the crowd who yells "Yeah, Tolwyn! He's got the answers!" speaks a lot to me of the man's credibility.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The novels talk about this somewhat; Tolwyn was unquestionably a war hero for his service at Earth (and any number of previous things)... but in the public eye he ended the war tainted by the Behemoth debacle and the ensuing court martial. So there was always a sort of jealousy, that Blair and Paladin and company ended up with the credit he deserved (or that he /fought/ the war and they just happened to end it.)
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
And that's a key piece too, really: from Tolwyn's perspective he's not doing something terrible or wrong... he sees himself as being entirely right.

This is the biggest thing, I think. The entire point of WC4 was that Tolwyn had kind of lost it, and the once noble officer was now willing to resort to crimes against humanity because he was certain they were right and necessary and even noble. Tolwyn might have thought Blair and Eisen untrustworthy if he had thought "I'm doing something evil, and they probably won't go along with it", but if course, if he thought what he was doing was evil, he probably wouldn't have been doing it. Most people, even bad ones, do what they do because they don't think its bad.

After all, Blair is able to bait Tolwyn into confessing everything in front of the Senate at the end, by playing on his (delusional) belief that he really was acting in the best interest of Confed and humanity.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I think you have to also take into consideration that not only does Tolwyn think he can get Blair on his side, he's activly manufacturing the circumstances that he hopes will convince Blair of Border World aggression. Also it's Eisen who is doing the digging behind the scenes and leads Blair to question his sense of duty. It's not until Paulsen steps on board to releive him that Blair really begins to think something greater is going on behind the scenes. The conversation between Blair, Maniac, and Vagabond in the lounge attests to this where Maniac and Vagabond are debating what would push the Border Worlders to resort to terrorism (destroying civilian transports). At that point they don't really question that there might be outside forces at work.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
This thread has got me thinking about how boring and uninspired Blair's reenlistment in WC4 was. I mean, it would have made a lot more sense for Blair to come back reluctantly or perhaps in response to the attacks. Remember how tired and burnt out he was from the war in WC3? A cool intro would have had him somehow escape the Black Lance's testing of the flashpack (or something similar) and then applying for reinstatement.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
quite frankly, i think wc4 was a true masterpiece. the best plot in all wc games so far
Opinions vary. Having just finished recent playthroughs of WC2, Wc3 and Wc4, I feel it is actually the weakest entry in the series. By quite a margin too. I just did not feel emotionally engaged at all for some reason. I'll be playing WCP again soon, so we will see if time has been kinder to it.
 

Triple-B

Rear Admiral
Opinions vary. Having just finished recent playthroughs of WC2, Wc3 and Wc4, I feel it is actually the weakest entry in the series. By quite a margin too. I just did not feel emotionally engaged at all for some reason. I'll be playing WCP again soon, so we will see if time has been kinder to it.

I think the story of wc4 is the most mature one. it's setting is dark and realistic.

the most darkest and depressing wc is in fact prophecy ( I really like that), though it's story is rather thin and weak compared to wc3 or 4.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'm not sure--I always thought Wing Commander 4 had the most potential, but that the reality of it manages to squander that to some degree. Like how incredibly thickly it lays on the Tolwyn/Nazi connection. We probably could have drawn the conclusion without needing the space salute and the SS logo and the black uniforms. :)
 

Sphynx

Commodore
The way I see it, recruiting Blair was a brilliant move. If he joined the cause, it would add legitimacy and public support for Tolwyn's actions. He could be the hero that fought for Tolwyn, even if he did not understand what Tolwyn was doing. If he died in that process, he would become a martyr and rally people around the cause. So much the better for Tolwyn, in fact, that I can't help but wonder if he pulled him out, hoping he was indeed rusty and would die early in the process (along with all the other surviving members of Lancelot flight. Honestly, bringing all of them in on the cause was a brilliant move). And, if Blair began to suspect what was going on, Tolwyn could see to it that he was killed, thus making him a martyr against his own will and still aiding the cause. In fact, if we accept that Blair defected at his first opportunity in the game, we could then say that Tolwyn tried to have him killed before anything he did for the Border Worlds was published, thus still being able to claim that he died in the service of Confed.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
This thread has got me thinking about how boring and uninspired Blair's reenlistment in WC4 was. I mean, it would have made a lot more sense for Blair to come back reluctantly or perhaps in response to the attacks. Remember how tired and burnt out he was from the war in WC3? A cool intro would have had him somehow escape the Black Lance's testing of the flashpack (or something similar) and then applying for reinstatement.
You know, very often, the most obvious ideas are the worst. We have thousands of movie cliches sitting in our heads, and they are usually the first things to come up. In this case - the relucant hero re-enlists because he almost got killed? That's only been done a thousand times...

I think Blair's re-enlistment was actually done in a remarkably clever way. They didn't want to put any emphasis on Blair having age issues - that stuff (which does appear in the novel) would have been disasterous in a game. So, they brushed the issue aside, but they did it very smartly - by establishing right away that Blair himself is ready to make that step. It's a classic fish out of water scenario - but because that's not the focus of the story, they could not afford to spend the entire first act on Blair coming to realise that he's not where he should be. Instead, you can see it right away, and Blair can see it right away. And possibly the most brilliant thing about it is Maniac. Blair's "let's go" sounds so horribly self-confident, that the audience is just about to go "oh, please, who wrote this crap?"... and then Maniac apes Blair's line, and everyone breathes easy - if the characters themselves can see this issue, then there is no problem with the writing, it's just what Blair is like.

Consider also the context - this is a game, not a movie. Now, personally, I think that WC4 is the weakest game in the series (...because of the gameplay) - but it has to be said, the story, the writing, it's all brilliantly designed for a game. All too often in games, you'll see a scenario that just doesn't work - and then you'll realise that the author secretly wanted to write movies, and simply could not understand games. WC4 is actually written as a game, it takes into consideration all the issues that come with the territory. And this plays an important role when it comes to Blair's re-enlistment. If they made Blair a reluctant hero, who doesn't want to get back in the cockpit, there would be a huge, gaping disconnect between Blair and the player right from the start. It could be that Blair's character would be more interesting then, as a character to watch on the screen - but it just wouldn't be you. At that particular moment, you just bought the latest Wing Commander game, you waited a year for it, and you are absolutely eager to get back in the cockpit. Creating a story where your character wants exactly what you want - and it still makes good sense as a story - is pretty brilliant.

That's the key thing about WC4 - rather than merely telling you a story, it tried to draw you into the story. I mean, nobody actually wanted Blair to become an evil space nazi... and yet thousands of people ended up causing exactly that outcome. This is because throughout the game, the writers tried to imagine what the player might be thinking at a given point, and made sure that the story would follow logically from there, instead of the player having this feeling that no matter what he wants, Blair is still gonna do his own thing (as would be the case if Blair was a reluctant here). Mind you, there are a few moments where this breaks down, but it generally is done very well.
 
Top